Valkyrie Won’t Be Marvel’s Only Gay Superhero and Fans Are Totally OK

Despite a lot of breathless headlines, gay superheroes in Marvel are not exactly new. We’ve already had confirmation that Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok is gay, from none other than Tessa Thompson herself.

There has been widespread speculation that Captain Marvel isn’t straight. The same goes for Deadpool. 

However, there is still another character in the MCU who is openly gay who hasn’t made as many headlines. Partly because movie audiences haven’t met that person yet, and partly because Marvel hasn’t revealed exactly which character it is. 

Tessa Thompson attends ACE Comic Con Midwest.
Tessa Thompson | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

‘The Eternals’ will feature an openly gay character

The Eternals comes out in November 2020 and represents a departure for Marvel in several ways. The Eternals, a race of celestial super-beings, are arguably the least widely known characters Marvel Studios has given a movie to, with many a question mark circling around the movie.

The cast does feature some big names, like Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, and it will be the third MCU picture, after Captain Marvel and Black Widow, to be directed or co-directed by a woman. For The Eternals, that’s Chloe Zhao. 

Per EW, Marvel President Kevin Feige told Good Morning America in an interview that the mystery character is married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is.” Feige being Feige, he didn’t reveal much beyond that. Adding to the mystery is the fact that no member of the Eternals has been identified as gay in the comics. 

That left fans on Reddit to speculate as to who the mystery Eternal could be. One fan guessed: “If it isn’t Hercules I’ll be very surprised. In an alternate universe, he was in a relationship with an equally gay Wolverine.” 

Another fan theorized: “I mean… He’s literally the Greek god, and all of them were attracted to anything and everything. So I would hope that he’s at least bisexual lol” 

How are fans reacting?

Perhaps because so much mystery shrouds the character, fans on Reddit seemed to approve of the idea. In fact, some fans worry that forces not entirely in Disney’s control could suppress the character.

For instance, Chinese censors might try to push back, which Disney wouldn’t like because China is an increasingly important box office market. Others thought that Disney’s reputation for being “family friendly” could be problematic.

Although Disney did portray the character of LeFou, Gaston’s stooge, as gay in the 2017 live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. On the other hand, some people said even that gesture was lip service. 

One fan argued that representation was key, saying: “To the people complaining about ‘pandering’ and ‘identity politics’: People just like looking at a character and going ‘Hey, that person is like me!’  Isn’t that one of the reasons why Spider-Man is popular? Because ‘nerdy’ kids finally had someone they can identify with? That’s all representation is. There’s no agenda.”

Other Marvel heroes who are LGBTQ

Thompson made headlines by flatly starting at Comic-Con that Valkyrie needed to “find her queen,” eliciting raucous cheers. That had never been explicitly shown in Thor: Ragnarok. Captain Marvel also did not specifically state that Carol Danvers was gay or bisexual, but more than a few fans saw a relationship between her and Maria Rambeau that seemed more than just platonic.

Neither Marvel nor Brie Larson has confirmed or denied the captain’s sexuality, but she and Thompson made quite a big show on social media of at least being in a mutual admiration society

Then there’s the issue of Deadpool. That character, at least in the comic books, is seen as pansexual, so it will be very interesting to see how his character evolves. With Deadpool, there are three key questions: When is the third movie coming out, will Deadpool still be rated R, and will Deadpool appear in the MCU? The answer to at least one of those questions could show which way Deadpool flies.